Historical Item: Hitler’s Growing Anti-Semitism

Today I read an interesting item from H-Net’s website (H-Net is a very good scholarly tool and worth exploring).   The item is called “Adolf Hitler’s First Antisemitic Writing, September 16, 1919” and I have chosen to put the item in full, including the summary as it is important for context reasons.

The reason I have posted the item is that it shows attitudes of one of modern history’s most infamous characters, it shows anti-Semitism at its worst (and what sheer and unadulterated ugliness it eventually resulted in).  It also has a modern perspective that should not be forgotten, that radical agendas, values has most certainly resurfaced its ugly head at levels not seen since the time of Adolf Hitler.    Thus, I post this as a reminder of what can happen.

As per my policy, I give full acknowledgment, respect and gratitude to the fine work of those that produced this item, I ask all to go to the site and most certainly never stop learning.

Hitler returned from a military hospital to Munich in early 1919. There he underwent a Reichswehr sponsored course of systematic political education for demobilizing soldiers that featured Pan- German nationalism, antisemitism, and anti-socialism. These same themes were prominent in Bavarian politics following the repression of the Munich revolution of 1918-19. Because antisemitism had not played a notable part in Bavarian politics prior to the revolutionary disturbances, a Herr Adolf Gemlich was prompted to send an inquiry about the importance of the “Jewish question” to Captain Karl Mayr, the officer in charge of the Reichswehr News and Enlightenment Department in Munich. Mayr referred him to Hitler, who had distinguished himself in the above-mentioned course by the vehemence of his radical nationalist and antisemitic views, and by his oratorical talents. Hitler was already feeling his way toward a political career; four days before responding to Gemlich in the letter translated below, he had paid his first visit to the German Workers’ Party (eventually renamed, the National Socialist Workers’ Party) as a confidential agent of the Reichswehr. In the letter to Gemlich he appears anxious to establish his credentials as a knowledgeable and sober antisemite. Compared to the inflammatory mass-meeting oratory that he was soon to make his specialty, Hitler’s rhetoric here is quite tame, stressing the need for a “rational” and “scientific” antisemitism. Some historians have interpreted the letter’s call for the “irrevocable removal [Entfernung]” of the Jews from German life as a prefiguring of the Holocaust. But it is clear from the context and from later statements that, at this point, Hitler meant segregation or expulsion rather than systematic liquidation. The letter, Hitler’s first explicitly political writing, impressed his Reichswehr superiors and he soon gained a reputation among radical rightist and socially respectable nationalist conservative groups as a man who could help inoculate the masses against revolution and whose antisemitic rhetoric could help discredit the democratic Weimar Republic. The letter may thus be seen as the launching of his political career. Source: Eberhard Jäckel (ed.), Hitler. Sämtliche Aufzeichnungen 1905-1924 (Stuttgart, 1980), pp. 88-90. Translated by Richard S. Levy.]


[September 16, 1919]

Dear Herr Gemlich,

The danger posed by Jewry for our people today finds expression in the undeniable aversion of wide sections of our people. The cause of this aversion is not to be found in a clear recognition of the consciously or unconsciously systematic and pernicious effect of the Jews as a totality upon our nation. Rather, it arises mostly from personal contact and from the personal impression which the individual Jew leaves–almost always an unfavorable one. For this reason, antisemitism is too easily characterized as a mere emotional phenomenon. And yet this is incorrect. Antisemitism as a political movement may not and cannot be defined by emotional impulses, but by recognition of the facts. The facts are these: First, Jewry is absolutely a race and not a religious association. Even the Jews never designate themselves as Jewish Germans, Jewish Poles, or Jewish Americans but always as German, Polish, or American Jews. Jews have never yet adopted much more than the language of the foreign nations among whom they live. A German who is forced to make use of the French language in France, Italian in Italy, Chinese in China does not thereby become a Frenchman, Italian, or Chinaman. It’s the same with the Jew who lives among us and is forced to make use of the German language. He does not thereby become a German. Neither does the Mosaic faith, so important for the survival of this race, settle the question of whether someone is a Jew or non-Jew. There is scarcely a race whose members belong exclusively to just one definite religion.

Through thousands of years of the closest kind of inbreeding, Jews in general have maintained their race and their peculiarities far more distinctly than many of the peoples among whom they have lived. And thus comes the fact that there lives amongst us a non- German, alien race which neither wishes nor is able to sacrifice its racial character or to deny its feeling, thinking, and striving. Nevertheless, it possesses all the political rights we do. If the ethos of the Jews is revealed in the purely material realm, it is even clearer in their thinking and striving. Their dance around the golden calf is becoming a merciless struggle for all those possessions we prize most highly on earth.

The value of the individual is no longer decided by his character or by the significance of his achievements for the totality but exclusively by the size of his fortune, by his money.

The loftiness of a nation is no longer to be measured by the sum of its moral and spiritual powers, but rather by the wealth of its material possessions.

This thinking and striving after money and power, and the feelings that go along with it, serve the purposes of the Jew who is unscrupulous in the choice of methods and pitiless in their employment. In autocratically ruled states he whines for the favor of “His Majesty” and misuses it like a leech fastened upon the nations. In democracies he vies for the favor of the masses, cringes before the “majesty of the people,” and recognizes only the majesty of money.

He destroys the character of princes with byzantine flattery, national pride (the strength of a people), with ridicule and shameless breeding to depravity. His method of battle is that public opinion which is never expressed in the press but which is nonetheless managed and falsified by it. His power is the power of money, which multiplies in his hands effortlessly and endlessly through interest, and which forces peoples under the most dangerous of yokes. Its golden glitter, so attractive in the beginning, conceals the ultimately tragic consequences. Everything men strive after as a higher goal, be it religion, socialism, democracy, is to the Jew only means to an end, the way to satisfy his lust for gold and domination.

In his effects and consequences he is like a racial tuberculosis of the nations.

The deduction from all this is the following: an antisemitism based on purely emotional grounds will find its ultimate expression in the form of the pogrom.[1] An antisemitism based on reason, however, must lead to systematic legal combatting and elimination of the privileges of the Jews, that which distinguishes the Jews from the other aliens who live among us (an Aliens Law). The ultimate objective [of such legislation] must, however, be the irrevocable removal of the Jews in general.

For both these ends a government of national strength, not of national weakness, is necessary.

The Republic in Germany owes its birth not to the uniform national will of our people but the sly exploitation of a series of circumstances which found general expression in a deep, universal dissatisfaction. These circumstances however were independent of the form of the state and are still operative today. Indeed, more so now than before. Thus, a great portion of our people recognizes that a changed state-form cannot in itself change our situation. For that it will take a rebirth of the moral and spiritual powers of the nation.

And this rebirth cannot be initiated by a state leadership of irresponsible majorities, influenced by certain party dogmas, an irresponsible press, or internationalist phrases and slogans. [It requires] instead the ruthless installation of nationally minded leadership personalities with an inner sense of responsibility.

But these facts deny to the Republic the essential inner support of the nation’s spiritual forces. And thus today’s state leaders are compelled to seek support among those who draw the exclusive benefits of the new formation of German conditions, and who for this reason were the driving force behind the revolution–the Jews. Even though (as various statements of the leading personalities reveal) today’s leaders fully realized the danger of Jewry, they (seeking their own advantage) accepted the readily proffered support of the Jews and also returned the favor. And this pay-off consisted not only in every possible favoring of Jewry, but above all in the hindrance of the struggle of the betrayed people against its defrauders, that is in the repression of the antisemitic movement.

Respectfully,
Adolf Hitler

Question for Debate: When does religious views cross the line?

I read in DutchNews.nl today an item called “Bible Belt says no to football on Sunday, whatever the occasion” which at first I thought was just “a bit funny” and then started wondering.  

As it is not a long item so I will quote it in full, with full acknowledgement and respect to DutchNews.nl.

Friday 09 July 2010

The Netherlands may be on the brink of its first football World Cup title, but in some parts of the Dutch Bible Belt, watching tv on a Sunday is totally forbidden, the Telegraaf points out on Friday.

And Kees van der Staaij, leader of the fundamentalist Protestant party SGP is one of those who will not be following events in South Africa.

‘Absolutely not,’ a spokesman told the Telegraaf. ‘He may watch television occasionally for work but never to relax and absolutely not on Sunday.’

In the village of Urk, which has 20 plus churches for its population of 17,000, three cafes have aroused the ire of religious leaders for deciding to open their doors during the match.

But in the Bible Belt heartland of Staphorst people who actually have a tv will watch quietly at home, a town council spokeswoman said. ‘Someone might run outside with a tooter, but they will go back in again straight away’.

In the village of Elburg the local minister has prayed for Oranje to lose. He has even advised parents to put a filter on their children’s computers so they do not watch such a ‘sinful’ match. © DutchNews.nl

What does this item tell us?    For me, many things.  I dislike the SGP for many reasons, that they want to ban women from any public office being amongst them.   Having said that, the right to religious belief is a fundamental principle that I share with my country and consider that sacred.  The question does comes at what point does a faith that control the lives of its followers cross over the line of the rules, standards and morals of the country as a whole.  Also when does those followers start impacting on those that disagree with that faith’s standards?  History, recent past and even the present has endless examples of what that causes around our now very small planet.

We all know the grave problem of how radical Islamism forces not only other Muslims to follow a certain line, but how it also makes unwarranted and unjustified demands on western societies that these radicals are present in.  That radicalism is not only subject of media attention, albeit much real and some often exaggerated, but it is also used and abused by other radicals to fulfill their own ugly agendas.  My blog is full of such examples.   Nevertheless, if radical Islamists are willing to go that far, what about Christian Fundamentalist groupings like that which the SGP represent –  will they go that far if they are able to get away with it?

That is the question that I wish readers to consider.   What would happen say if the SGP took the second largest number of voters or the largest?    They would demand women not be allowed to take public office, that is a clear agenda platform – even though that would require a constitutional alteration.   Would they forbid football on Sundays?  Would they force Christian teachings in Government Schools?  Would they limit or ban non-Christian schools?   Limit the growth, sponsorship and funding of non-Christian organisations that are involved in serious community work?

What is the limit when a community thinks something is sinful and requires actions?    My concern is that groups like the SGP will, as a result of economic and social issues, become more radicalized with the extreme members having more influence in policy.  That they will grow like the PVV (or perhaps take some of the PVV votes as and when that ugly abomination collapses) and that their numbers will grow to a significant level to create a lobby group with just enough clout to make trouble.   What will happen, I fear, is that they will have enough influence to have a say, a hearing of sorts, but because their principles are a “matter of faith” and a “matter of God’s Will in their batle against what they call sin”, that they will feel OBLIGED to take matters into their own hands.

The subject in that item might seem to be about football, but it raises a very interesting question.  Though tolerance, human rights and freedom of expression are the normal accepted standards of my country, our history has often shown otherwise.  In our more recent past a siginficant enough number of my country along with a number of others, sided with Hitler and embraced even Nazism.  Further back it should never be forgotten that the apartheid movement, organized racism and much of European’s ugly history in Africa stemmed directly from the guidence and followers of the Dutch Reformed Church.

What do you think?

Quoting David Kilcullen’s calling the decision to invade Iraq “stupid”

David Kilcullen is a modern professional military strategist recognized by many.  A former Australian Army officer, he was later as a civilian one of the Senior Counterinsurgency Adviser’s of General Patraeus that resulted formed actual results in Iraq.  He has worked for the US State Department, is a major contributor to programs in counter-terrorism and is an advisor to a number of western governments and NATO.

What I like is he speaks his mind regardless of the politics and is in a position to do so.  He battles radicalism in the form of terrorism and stupid political input in the most serious of situations – war.  

My partial quote from Kilcullen early last year (6 March 2009) is about his view about deciding to invade Iraq.  He has all but admitted that in a private conversation (that had gone public) was that he called it “f*cking stupid”.   He chose, to clarify the reasons for his opinion in a better format.  I suggest this in the Small Wars Journal and I suggest for context purposes that you read the entire item by him called “Accidental Guerrilla: Read Before Burning”.  Full acknowledgement to the author and Small Wars Journal. 

Spencer Ackerman, in yesterday’s Washington Independent, claims I told him the Iraq war was “f*cking stupid”. He did not seek to clear that quote with me, and I would not have approved it if he had. If he HAD sought a formal comment, I would have told him what I have said publicly before: in my view, the decision to invade Iraq in 2003 was an extremely serious strategic error. But the task of the moment is not to cry over spilt milk, rather to help clean it up: a task in which the surge, the comprehensive counterinsurgency approach, and our troops on the ground are admirably succeeding.

Anyone who knows me has been well aware of my position on Iraq for years. When I went to Iraq in 2007 (and on both previous occasions) it was to end the war, by suppressing the violence and defeating the insurgency. (Note: I said END the war, not abandon it half-way through, leaving the Iraqis to be slaughtered. When we invaded Iraq, we took on a moral and legal responsibility for its people’s wellbeing. Regardless of anyone’s position on the decision to invade, those obligations still stand and cannot be wished away merely because they have proven inconvenient)…The question of whether we were right to invade Iraq is a fascinating debate for historians and politicians, and a valid issue for the American people to consider in an election year. As it happens, I think it was a mistake. But that is not my key concern. The issue for practitioners in the field is not to second-guess a decision from six years ago, but to get on with the job at hand which, I believe, is what both Americans and Iraqis expect of us. In that respect, the new strategy and tactics implemented in 2007, and which relied for their effectiveness on the extra troop numbers of the Surge, ARE succeeding and need to be supported.

 

Quoting Anushay Hossain’s “What’s up Saudi?”

I came across an item by website editor, feminist, Bengali-born Anushay Hossain that I found compelling to quote in part.  Though I tend to try to look at and discuss the complexities, Anushay tackles the subject head-on (and probably rightly so).   As a woman and a Muslim, she sees the ugly sexism, institutionalised foolishness, and what I liked, was clearly defining the hypocrisy of calling some things religious when it really comes down to the perversion of many Saudi Men taking advantage of the old ways.   The topic is a questionable “fatwa” that was raised by Sheikh Abdul Mohsin al-Abaican who said that there is need for a symbolic bond between un-related men and women whom are in constant contact with each other.  The issue, being drivers of women who need transport, since they are banned themselves from sitting behind the wheel.  The old custom of introducing a male into the family by drinking the breast-milk of the women – being the only symbolic bond possible…..  you can imagine the rest yourself.   As usual, I give full acknowledgement to the author (Hossain) and recommend the entire item be read to avoid loss of context by the author.

While the Saudi authorities pretend as though they are the ones who hold the moral high ground by continuing to go out of their way to keep the sexes segregated and prevent women from driving, the issuing of fatwas such as this just goes to show who the real perverts are: Saudi men.

Saudi men and “scholars” who would rather preserve women’s purity (and other BS) by not allowing them to mix with men, but telling them it is okay to have strangers suckle on your breast so they become related to you?!

As one Saudi woman asks, “Is this is all that is left to us to do: to give our breasts to the foreign drivers?”

The truth of the matter is, Saudi authorities want to keep denying women the right to drive as part of their larger efforts to curb the mobility of women and in effect, their rights. After all, the less you are able to get around the less you are able to do. It’s the hiding behind all the Islamic and religious justification that is the most disgusting part to tolerate.

Kudos to the women of Saudi Arabia for taking this as an opportunity to expose to the world and keep reminding us of the culture of absurdity they are forced to live in. These women should be congratulated for using the issuing of yet another insane fatwa and flipping it into an opportunity to maybe one day, finally winning their right to drive.

Quoting Rela Mazali’s “Livable Futures”

I chose to quote Israeli activist, author, feminist and Noble Prize candidate Rela Mazali’s  “A call for livable Futures” simply because it follows the image that I have on the radicalization of Israel’s government and that it touches on the “critizing Israel is taboo” question.  What better than to get a quote from a known Israeli activist who thinks the same?    As usual, I ask that you read the entire item to guarentee context and I give full acknowledgement to Rela Mazali the author of the item.

 

What to do when the country I live in totally loses its compass? Totally loses its shame? What to do when the regime that collects my taxes uses them to deploy its high-tech military, armed to the teeth, against activists sailing to oppose a criminal siege? When this country’s politicians authorize soldiers to shoot-to-kill into a deck-bound crowd? And then tell me they are protecting me? What to do when the governments of the world are too deeply implicated to hold this regime, this country accountable?

I have watched government after government in Israel present itself as a respectable, normal member of the club of developed countries; open, democratic, cultured and liberal. Israel recently launched a major “re-branding” campaign, emphasizing diversity, richness, creativeness, to divert attention away from its warring belligerence. Israel’s leaders are deeply committed to keeping up their positive self-image.

I have noted the special privileges granted time and again on the pretext of this image. The US awards Israel billions every year for “defense” in the form of planes, missiles, guns and ammunition. Just this May, the organization of so-called developed countries (OECD) granted Israel full membership, after years of Israeli lobbying. Israel bases its equal footing in such clubs on its claim to democracy.

It is time for us all to hold it to that claim. Accountable. Not only privilege-able. Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) to end the occupation, reject, and actively remove, Israel’s mask of “business as usual.”

Quoting Robert Creamer on Arizona Immigration Law and Republican Politics

My choice of selective quotes this time is from an item in Huffington Post by Robert Creamer, progressive political strategist and activist.   Though I do necessarily agree with all that is said, there is a link to my blog through the subject of giving in to radical policies by political parties out of expediency – in this case Republicans chosing to back radical knee jerk reactions to immigration issues, to get votes from ultra-conservatives in the South and the already hijacked Tea-Party Movement.   As is my policy, please read the entire item via the above link to ensure full context (and not just my own points) and I give full acknowledgement to the author (Creamer).

The passage of the Arizona “papers, please” anti-immigration law has forced Republican politicians around the country into a political box canyon that does not offer an easy escape. For fear of offending the emergent Tea Party – and other anti-immigrant zealots in their own base — they are precipitating a massive realignment of Latino voters nationwide.

According to data released by Public Policy Polling (PPP), Texas Governor Rick Perry has lost his early lead over Democratic challenger Bill White and the race is now tied.

The punditry sometimes forgets that in politics intensity is often just as important as poll percentages. For many Hispanic voters, the Arizona immigration law is an insult. It is an attack on their very identity. And it is certainly a litmus test that tells a Hispanic voter whether or not a political candidate is on their side – the critical threshold test of voter decision making.

The same is simply not true for non-Hispanic voters. As a result, by allowing the Party to be defined by the anti-immigrant zealots – and refusing to lift a finger to pass comprehensive immigration reform in Congress – the Republicans are playing with political fire.

In fact, given the fact that Hispanics are the fastest-growing segment of the American electorate, the Republicans are playing with permanent marginality.

If a surge of anti-Republican Hispanic voters destroys the careers of enough politicians who thought that pandering to anti-immigrant fear was good politics, the whole political narrative about immigration reform will change.

Watch for big sections of the Republican establishment to fall all over themselves to make amends to the rising tide of Latino voters, soon after the elections. But in all likelihood it will be very difficult to get the anti-immigrant toothpaste back into the tube.

If it continues to pursue its current course, the Republican Party may find that it loses another ethnic minority the same way it lost African Americans two generations ago. African Americans recall, were a solid part of the Republican base from the Civil War through the early part of the 20th Century. Roosevelt’s New Deal began to change that. The civil rights revolution and the Republican “Southern Strategy” completed it. Now 92% to 95% of African Americans vote Democratic. The problem is that you can only get shut out of a couple of minorities and before you know it, you are no longer competitive with the majority of Americans.

Quoting Richard Trumka’s “Who Are You Calling Names?”

As part of my partial quotes habit, this time it is US Union-boss Richard Trumka  of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, commonly known as the AFL-CIO.   I chose this very well written piece from Huffington Post called “Who Are You calling Names?”  not because I am from the Left (because I am from the Centre-Right) or that I am a Unionist (I tend to argue with them actually), but simply because those words I quoted fits well into my theme of radicalism and context abuse.  Trumka’s words, simply put, are absolutely correct and the item is a perfect example of scapegoating minorities for various reasons, sinister or not.  Not just the normal xenophobia or bigotry but how it is also pushed by media, interest groups and dangerous political elements.  Though an American story, it hits home for us here in The Netherlands for current political trends and I am certain the story itself is mimmicked in countless western (and non-western countries to various levels).   As per my habit, I recommend that everyone reads the entire item and I give full aknowledgement and appreciation to the author:

“Wop.” “Hunkie.” “Polack.” “Kike.”

When I was a kid growing up in Nemacolin, Pa., those are some of the slurs people used for us.

Why? Because our parents or grandparents came to this country from somewhere else, fleeing poverty and war, seeking opportunity and hope. As a kid, every person I knew who was older than 50 spoke broken English.

Those names hurt. But they also determined almost everything about us — where we would live, where we would worship, where we would go to school, where we could work.

It wasn’t easy. We were the last hired and first fired, the people who did the hardest and most dangerous work, the people accused of taking jobs away from others who had been here longer, the people whose pay got shorted because we didn’t know the language and were afraid to complain.

But from the mines and the mills, the immigrants of my parents’ and grandparents’ generation built America.

Today, we have a new generation of immigrants. And the names and accusations are just as ugly. I hear it all the time. I even hear it from people close to me. “Those immigrants are taking our jobs. They can’t speak English. They’re taking over the country.”

I couldn’t disagree more, but I know where they’re coming from — an American economy in tatters, rampant unemployment, foreclosures, disappearance of health and retirement benefits.

They’re anxious and angry. I’m angry, too.

There’s justifiable anger at seeing our economy, our way of life, our security trashed. And it’s being used by people who have a real stake in maintaining our economic disaster to turn working people against one another.

Many working men and women — including union members — were pretty confused that I would be speaking out on behalf of today’s immigrant workers, as I did last week at the Cleveland City Club. But I can honestly say to them: An immigrant worker did not move your plant overseas. An immigrant did not take away your pension. A Mexican or Salvadoran or Guatemalan worker did not cut off your health care. His wife didn’t foreclose your home. Her children did not crash our financial system.

Blaming immigrant workers for our economic catastrophe is like blaming shrimpers for the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.